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The Singapore Way: Very Rich and Living With Mom

Singapore isn't just among the wealthiest countries in the world
Solar-powered "Supertrees" at Gardens by the Bay stand illuminated at night in front of the Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino in Singapore.

Solar-powered "Supertrees" at Gardens by the Bay stand illuminated at night in front of the Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino in Singapore.

Nicky Loh/Bloomberg
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Everyone knows Singapore is an expensive country that's transforming itself into a smart city. Here are five less-known facts about the island nation as it marks its 50th year of independence.

Car buyers in Singapore must bid for a limited number of permits -- called Certificates of Entitlement -- that are auctioned by the government. It's a tool used to control pollution and congestion, and can more than double the vehicle’s market value. Consequently, an average family sedan can cost almost as much as a home in the U.S.